404 500 arrow-leftarrow-rightattachbutton-agriculturebutton-businessbutton-interestcalendarcaretclockcommentscrossdew-point external-linkfacebook-footerfacebookfollow hearthumidity linkedin-footerlinkedinmenupagination-leftpagination-right pin-outlinepinrainfall replysearchsharesoil ticktwitter-footertwitterupload weather-clearweather-cloudyweather-drizzleweather-fogweather-hailweather-overcastweather-partly-cloudyweather-rainweather-snowweather-thunderstormweather-windywind

A Farmer's guide to bull buying

Do you want to get more bang for your buck when buying bulls? Steve Farmer, a grazier at Mt Elsa, Canoona in Queensland explains how.

Buying bulls is one of the most important tasks in Steven and Claire Farmer’s business.

The seedstock and commercial breeders believe in having a clear breeding objective, doing their homework and buying bulls with genetic potential in commercially important traits.

You might spend one day a year buying bulls but you could live with the consequences of those decisions for the next 15 years.
Steven Farmer

They run 250 stud and 400 commercial cows in their Droughtmaster stud and Droughtmaster-Brangus (joined to Wagyu) herd on their 3,887ha property 'Mt Elsa' in Canoona, Queensland.

“It can take patience to find the right bull. You might spend one day a year buying bulls but you could live with the consequences of those decisions for the next 15 years,” Steven said.

Estimated breeding values (EBVs) are improving the number of traits measured as well as accuracy, and Steven recommends producers use them whenever possible.

“In our herd, we focus on selecting bulls for fertility, fast growth, moderate maturity, polledness and good temperament,” he said.

“The market is applying pressure for polled animals and we have young children, so temperament is very important to us.”

Before attending a sale, Steven compares EBVs, semen morphology tests and their dams’ calving history to arrive at a shortlist.

“The Droughtmaster breed is getting close to having a days-to-calving EBV, which will make selection for fertility easier, but one of the traits I focus on now is scrotal circumference – for the stud I want a bull in the top 20% of the breed, for the commercial herd I want just above breed average. Semen morphology should test at better than 70%,” he said.

“Growth is similar but I focus on the 600-day growth figures, as most of our calves end up in the Japan Ox trade, even though our involvement usually ends when we sell them to feedlots."

Lessons learned:

  • Good all-round bulls are not necessarily leaders in one particular trait.
  • Source bulls from studs with similar breeding objectives.
  • Inspect stud breeder herds for structure, calving history etc before buying a bull.

This article first appeared on the MLA website.

  • Tags

0 Responses

Farmers for Free Trade: The Cairns Group Farm Leaders

Blog

Farmers for Free Trade: The Cairns Group Farm Leaders

The Cairns Group Farm Leaders took a leadership role, demanding action at the World Trade Organizati...

15 December 2017 - Scott Kompo-Harms, NFF

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
2017: Farm advocacy in review

Blog

2017: Farm advocacy in review

As the farm sector wipes the sweat from its collective brow after another productive 12 months, it's...

15 December 2017 - National Farmers' Federation

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Seasonal work in Australia helps Manase Latu rebuild his life at home

Blog

Seasonal work in Australia helps Manase Latu rebuild his life at home

A solid link forged between a third generation citrus growing family in Mundubbera and chef from the...

14 December 2017 - AustralianFarmers

  • 0
  • 0
  • 2
Three tips for the crispiest crackling this Christmas

News

Three tips for the crispiest crackling this Christmas

13 December 2017 - Australian Pork Limited

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

Forum

What is grown? Where? How?

07 December 2017 - Clement DEMARAIS

  • 0
  • 0

Farmers for Free Trade: The Cairns Group Farm Leaders

Blog

Farmers for Free Trade: The Cairns Group Farm Leaders

The Cairns Group Farm Leaders took a leadership role, demanding action at the World Trade Organizati...

15 December 2017 - Scott Kompo-Harms, NFF

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
2017: Farm advocacy in review

Blog

2017: Farm advocacy in review

As the farm sector wipes the sweat from its collective brow after another productive 12 months, it's...

15 December 2017 - National Farmers' Federation

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Seasonal work in Australia helps Manase Latu rebuild his life at home

Blog

Seasonal work in Australia helps Manase Latu rebuild his life at home

A solid link forged between a third generation citrus growing family in Mundubbera and chef from the...

14 December 2017 - AustralianFarmers

  • 0
  • 0
  • 2
Three tips for the crispiest crackling this Christmas

News

Three tips for the crispiest crackling this Christmas

13 December 2017 - Australian Pork Limited

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

Forum

What is grown? Where? How?

07 December 2017 - Clement DEMARAIS

  • 0
  • 0